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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  March 24, 2015 9:00am-10:01am PDT

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day, i'm andrea mitchell in washington. let's go to the latest on that crash of germanwings flight 4u9525 joining us now is tom costello, our aviation expert. and reporting from paris for nbc news is ann curry. tom, what do we know about what happened and why that plane went from 38,000 feet to cruise altitude all the way down to 8,000 feet? >> let me give you a couple of headlines if i could. i've been trying to work the story for the last few minutes off air, i got in touch with flight radar 24 which does a tremendous job tracking aircraft around the world. they say it has no indication this plane ever did transmit a coded distress signal. there was some confusion about that this morning. it now appears that that distress message came from french air traffic controllers when they realized the plane had it appears gone off radar and possibly crashed into a mountain. here's the timeline that we're
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aware of via flight radar 24 and this is -- a website that's run out of sweden. the flight hit 38,000 feet at about -- a great website, great site there. hang on there with me 38,000 feet at 10:27 a.m. european time. it began descending only about two to three minutes later at 10:32 a.m. it then was at 25,000 feet at 10:35, down to 6,000 feet at 10:42 a.m. over the course of eight minutes, it dropped 32,000 feet and then we believe slammed into a mountain. it was descending at 4,000 feet per minute. that's a good clip of a descent. it is necessarily aggressive but not passive. it is a pretty good rate of descent. it would suggest that this was of course an orderly descent but also of course intentional. the question is who was at controls when it happened. the autopilot system or were the
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pilots trying to get the plane down because of some incapacity tating or critical event on board. we don't know what happened because there were no distress calls or mayday calls or nothing xgt but we're left to assume that something very serious happened because they were trying to get the plane down so quickly. here's the other thing that's per plexing. if you have a decompression event, if you lose oxygen in the cabin, generally you try toe get the plane down to 10,000 feet so people can breathe. why did the plane continue to descend? were those pilots in some way incapacitated? clearly that's a question investigators will look at. 150 people on board all presumed dead. this is a very remote area that we're told is about two hours from the nearest village. and the airbus a-320 we would quickly remind you is a workhorse of a plane that is flown around the world. 6,000 of them in every continent in most major countries and this
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particular flown by germanwings was a 24-year-old plane that just had a maintenance check yesterday and captain had 10,000 hours. they are owned by lufthansa, of course one of the best records in the industry with pilots who are very well regarded. so you can understand why the layers here of confusion kind of mount because 90% of incidents involving aircraft occur on takeoff or landing. to have something happen mid flight is unusual and number two to have something happen and orderly descent before hitting into a mountain it's very strange indeed. >> so just to unpack what you just told us and your information about the lack of an ought mated distress signal is brand-new information from what had been reported previously. is there now the possibility that the pilots were incapacitated and there was a loss of oxygen? >> i think investigators are going to have to look at that
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scenario among many. nothing is off the table at this point. but among those scenarios, they have to consider whether the pilots were somehow incapacitated, lack of oxygen. was there a fire or smoke event on board. did something happen that completely incapacitated the crew. you would think if they were able to handle the emergency once thep got to 10,000 feet they would have leveled off and called out a mayday. that didn't happen. one other very important point that several safety experts have made to me today and that is that science has shown that when there is a series or cascade of events in a cockpit and things are going terribly wrong and alarms are going off and maybe you've got a lack of oxygen or smoke event, whatever there becomes a sensory overload problem. pilots sometimes take much longer to respond and to react to it than they normally would. all of these things now are playing into the scenario about whatever happened somehow this
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crew was not able to respond. >> and tom, while you're speaking we're showing the first pictures right now, new pictures from the crash site showing you just how rugged that terrain was. and finally, have they ruled out -- i guess they don't have enough information to rule anything out. some sort of criminal event? >> criminal event is not off the table. nbc news is -- our investigative reporters and producers have thus far not picked up any hint from u.s. intelligence that they believe that this is in any way a terrorist attack. but all suspicions right now are focusing on the possibility of some sort of mechanical problem. as you look at that image, i think this is critical you want to look and see where is the debris field? is it contained, narrow? which would suggest the plane did indeed remain intact until it hit the ground. or is it disbursed and if so how widely because if it's more disbursed, obviously the possibility is that the plane broke up in air. >> tom costello thanks so much
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for your expertise. joining me from paris is ann curry, reporting for nbc news and french officials obviously responding to this disaster and also the king of spain there meeting with the french president hollande. we understand now the interior minister the french interior minister is on his way to the village closest to this terrible accident. what can you tell us about the official reaction from french officials? >> reporter: well, french officials obviously are calling this a terrible tragedy and they have rushed something between 500 and 600 people into action. they've got soldiers and also they've got police officers actually -- let me make sure firemen as well as soldiers who have been tasked with trying to respond to this disaster. they are being ferried in helicopters, about ten tell komters ferrying hem as close as they can get. the images just coming in this
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is a very steep, rugged terrain. and that the debris is strewn over a deep ravine. these helicopters are only able to land andrea about four miles from the scene. these firefighters and soldiers are having to hike in as close as they can get. they've been ferried in and hiking in. it's taken a lot of time. it took about four hours before we understand the first responders were able to get -- landed as close as they can get to begin her hike towards the crash site. what you heard from tom a moment ago about the lack of a distress signal, this actually is something we heard at about -- before 9:00 this morning and reported to msnbc from the french aviation officials who said there was no distress signal, which was in conflict with other reporting earlier. this information is very important that there was not a distress signal and that what it may indicate.
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we should also tell you from here we're hearing about the 144 men, women and children and also babies who are on this plane, most of them were german citizens. they often times at this time of the year you'll see german people german families school children making their way to barcelona from dusseldorf for vacation. it's a time of year when that happens. this is a budget airline so it was not as expensive flight and opportunity to spend a long weekend coming back on a tuesday to head back into their obligations and working for schools. so it is a great tragedy. we understand that angela merkel from germany is planning to make her way to as close as she can to the crash site which apparently is nearest a town
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called b bars lone net. joining us now, michael, from what you've heard about the lack of a distress signal and orderly descent, rapid but not passive, not aggressive what does that tell us about what may or may not have happened? >> before we get to what tom costello reported. this is a horrific tragedy for people on the plane and families so it's hard to cite how safe flying is but in effect that a-320 takes off every two seconds around the world. >> every two seconds. >> and it is as tom suggested and others the workhorse of the fleet. >> that workhorse has had very few, if any accidents. >> very few. the chances -- it doesn't matter. right now at all. the boeing and airbus build incredibly safe planes. that's not the point. all of the speculation will turn
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out not to be what ultimately happens. we've been here a lot with the two malaysian -- >> sadly. >> the early speculation tends to not be true because it's always a series of event. on the ascent what is troubling with the controlled descent and no voice call or radio call by pilots that is highly unusual. if the pilots were in control, they probably would have tried to at some point in that descent when oxygen was provided and everybody was fine they probably would have tried to take the plane to another air field or avoid mountainous terrain. that piece is troubling. i don't think terrorism is off the table. i don't think anything is off the table. if there's any good news in this, the voice recorder and cockpit and flight data recorder should be recovered soon. they are not in the bottom of the ocean. we're not going to have a protracted wait on this tragedy.
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>> if it were on autopilot, can that account -- let's say there was a lack of oxygen and autopilot, could that explain the lack of communication? >> not really. it takes a tenth of a second for that kind of command. we're hearing now air traffic says there was no distress call. something happened to that crew. we don't know what happened. something happened to that crew, some catastrophic failure, smoke, lack of oxygen hyp oxtoxia, that caused that plane to have that kind of descent. we're not going to know. >> it was not over water, not a long haul short commuter budget flight we're talking about a pilot and co-pilot not three or four. >> yes, and other things the terrain is terribly mountainous and search and rescue will become probably unfortunately search and recovery. but that air space is the most heavily radared air space in the
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world between the different french and german and other authorities. they are going to find those data recorders and when they do we'll know pretty precisely what happened here unfortunately. >> thanks so much michael goldfarb. joining me by phone, carla ang la from msnbc enroute to the school where 16 students and two teachers 40 miles from deuce eldusseldorf were booked on the flight. you're he at the school where hundreds have gathered. >> reporter: i'm outside the school a city spokesperson told us earlier that 16 students from the school and two teachers were booked on the flight. they have not confirmation -- no confirmation from the airline yet if they have actually arrived, if they were on the
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flight but students here have gathered outside the school about 100 or here right now, laying flowers. they are lighting candles in a make shift memorial in the front entrance. and they are also many counselors and police officials here trying to comfort them. >> i heard that this school is known as a gymnasium -- that these were tenth graders, high school students on a school trip. is that what you're hearing as well there? >> yes, it is a high school type of school. we were told by city officials that the students on the flight were from a tenth grade class so they would be about 16 or maybe 17 years old. they were on a special school visit to spain and it was part
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of an exchange program with a spanish school outside of barcelona. the spanish students had already visited the german school previously and now the german students were on their return trip to their spanish colleagues. >> presumably family members as well as fellow students classmates and teachers are all gathering there. unimaginable sadness there. there's no confirmation yet that they were booked on the flight but no confirmation they were actually passengers although certainly family members and teachers probably fearing for the worst, carlo. >> it looks like they are preparing for the worst here. and counselors are on site talking to both students as well as possible relatives. we're also told that the relatives of the students and teachers have gone to deuceusseldorf
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airport and expected to be there with counselors and airline officials are waiting for any news from the crash site about their relatives. >> thank you so much at that site at the school in haltern where 16 students and two teachers have been booked on the flight that had the fatal crash. much more on this breaking news up ahead and also israel responding to a report it spied on the u.s. during iran nuclear negotiations. ang us king joins me next from the intelligence committee. this is the equivalent of the sugar in one regular can of soda. and this is a soda a day for a year. over an average adult lifetime that's 221,314 cubes of sugar. but you can help change that with a simple choice. drink more water. filtered by brita. ♪ and introducing our new advanced filter, now better than ever.
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in the end we know what a peace agreement should look like. it should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, each state needs secure
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and recognized borders and there must be robust provisions that safeguard israel's security. [ applause ] >> and occupation that lasted almost 50 years must end. the palestinian people must have the right to live in and govern themselves in their own sovereign state. >> white house chief of staff denis mcdonough using a phrase never before used occupation to describe israel's control over the palestinian territories in the west bank. it was a very tough rebuke to israel's prime minister only hours after netanyahu apologized for facebook about comments he made on election day, that deeply offended president obama and advisers. tensions are now at an all-time high and now the "wall street journal" added fuel to the fire with a story that israel spied on the iran negotiations and leaked selective details to
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congressional critics to fire up the opposition. israel is denying strongly and white house is refusing to comment. i'm joined by angus king a member of the intelligence committee. senator, just from what you know about spying practices, one of the allegations in the wall street journal story is that the u.s. learned about israel spying on america because the u.s. was spying on israel. >> well andrea the first thing i need to say, i can't confirm anything except -- >> understood. >> except what you and i both saw in that article. i have a briefing in a couple of hours but right now all i have is what was in that article. i don't think there's much question or surprise to anyone that israel and the u.s. and many of our allies watch carefully each other and try to get whatever intelligence that we can. i think that the real heart of the wall street journal story
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that was disturbing, the allegation was that israel had gained inside information and then turned around and leaked it selectively to members of congress to effect the congressional thinking on this proposed deal. again, i can't confirm that but if true that is somewhat disturbing. it isn't so much that they gathered the information from whatever sources but how that information was used. but the larger question andrea when you step back and realize how complicated and dangerous the middle east is it's a real shame that we're spending so much time and energy arguing with our strongest ally in the region. i think everybody is going to take a little bit of a deep breath and step back. the other disturbing thing over the last two or three weeks, israel seems to be embarking upon a policy that could lead to making israel itself a partisan issue. i think that's a grave mistake
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for israel and we've just got to get -- we've got to get beyond that. >> was it a mistake for the white house to take such a tough line? the president himself in his interview with sam stein on "huffing ton post", denis mcdonough going to jay street opposed to other lobbying groups in washington. should the white house dial it back or is this a appropriate rebuke for what israel has allegedly done and denied doing? >> i think part of the problem was what the prime minister said last week a day before the election about a palestinian state will not come into being during my administration was a real enormous change of policy and a real rebuke two state solution has been u.s. policy for something like 40 years. and i think the white house was shocked by that. then the comment about arabs and
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now this allegation today, so you know i think the administration has to react. they can't just be acquiescence ent on these things. i hope everybody can dial it back a bit because we've got some really serious problems with serious enemies in that region. we shouldn't be spending so much time and energy arguing with our allies. >> senator, thank you very much for being with us on a busy news day. appreciate it. >> and more on that breaking news of the air crash coming up the mayor of haltern, germany confirmed that the 16 students and two teachers did in fact board the germanwings flight that crashed into the french alps earlier today. more ahead as search and rescue teams try to reach the crash site. new video shows that the secret service indent in front of the white house was even more troubling than previously reported.
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there is new video released by the house oversight committee during a hearing on the secret service showing the incident involving secret service personnel rolling their vehicle into a temporary plastic barrel on the white house grounds earlier this month. jason chaffetz took the committee and director clancy through the footage on march 4th beginning with an incident at 10:30 when an individual drops a suspicious package off outside the gates. >> we had two crime scenes the assault on the officer and then you have within just a couple of feet you can see they are bumping into the bar okayed there. that is not much of a barricade in my personal opinion but driving right within a couple of feet of this would be bomb which begs a lot of additional questions. it takes the secret service and the metropolitan police
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department about an hour and 20 minutes to come to the conclusion that this is not a bomb and the scene is then rendered safe. >> nbc's kristen welker has been covering all of this and joins me outside the hearing in the hallway there. kristen, tell us the significance of this and i think there was also testimony today about how long it took for them to notify metropolitan police and they notified them of the wrong car, the car that dropped off the suspicious package. a lot of questions asked. >> a lot of questions and lawmakers that there was so much confusion at the scene and that suspect, by the way known to the secret service, was essentially allowed to get away without being arrested or detained immediately. all in all it took the washington police about an hour to get to the scene. lawmakers want to know why did it so long?
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it's significant because it shows the officers driving at a low rate of speed but drive through the active crime scene investigation next to what was a suspicious package. the woman had come up and said this package was a bomb. turned out to be a book wrapped in a t-shirt. what the video doesn't show is the officers actually getting into our out of the car. as you know there are allegations that these agents had been drinking prior to this incident. it doesn't really shed a whole lot of light on that. but andrea there were a lot of fireworks today and this hearing is ongoing. clancy fielding tough questions about all of this. lawmakers -- clancy is the only one testified. they had one of the supervisors on duty the night in question march 4th to testify. they didn't sign up for that. he's the one who signed up to answer the tough questions. they are part of the rank in file and ultimately the buck stops with him. another big issue for lawmakers today, why clancy hasn't done any of his own investigating.
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he told lawmakers he meeldly turned over the investigation to the department of homeland security and inspector general for an independent review. members of congress not satisfied by that answer. look that investigation doesn't preclude clancy from getting some initial questions so that he can answer the very basic question that members on both sides of the aisle want to know. there are also ongoing concerns that? of the videotape has been erased or taped over. you have one lawmaker saying he's going to issue new legislation that would require the secret service to preserve tapes for 30 days instead of 72 hours. and the one final point i'll make andrea this is the first time clancy has really had to defend his leadership one member of congress asking if he's really the right person for the job. you remember an independent panel called for an outsider to take over the secret service. clancy said he is the right person for the job.
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this is his life's work. the results of the independent review should come within weeks, not months. >> kristen welker thanks so much from outside the secret service hearing. more on the breaking news the crash of passenger jet germanwings flight and the french alps with 150 on board. it is now reported one of the black boxes has been located. nbc news is working to confirm that. we'll have an update after this. know your financial plan won't keep you up at night. know you have insights from professional investment strategists to help set your mind at ease.
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now updating the breaking news it is reported one of the black boxes is located from the germanwings flight that crashed into the french alps with 150 people on board. nbc news is working to confirm that. david barnes joins us by phone near the scene in southern
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france. david, thank you very much i know you've driven to this staging area really and i'm sure it's a couple of miles from the crash and i know you can't get any closer. but you can see the mountain and rescue teams working to make their way. what can you tell us? >> well i'm in the field in the valley it is underneath the mountains which are cover eded in snow. i can see the mountain on which the plane crashed this morning. it's actually -- the range is massive -- and i can see helicopters taking off quite regularly, at least a dozen in front of me and literally hundreds of -- would be rescuers crowding together. they say they haven't been able to recover any of the bodies because of the very very
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difficult access where vehicles cannot go. they can only get in there by helicopter. >> do any of the rescue officials there know or can they tell you what kind of debris field this was? that's one of the issues we are talking about earlier with our aviation experts as to whether the plane had -- the debris had spread on crash, on impact or whether it exploded in air? >> the information i have is that it exploded on impact. very low altitude as it passed and knew for certain it was going to crash because it was heading into the mountains at such a low altitude. there was no alternative but tragedy. that's i guess how it landed. >> david barnes one of the first journalists to arrive at
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the scene of the rescue staging area. thank you so much for calling in from the daily mail. joining me now is francis rivera with more on the flight path of this germanwings flight. >> we want to map it out for you what we know right now. a lot of information still coming in. but this is what we know as far as where this plane started from. it started off in barcelona this morning around 4:55 eastern time in barcelona, headed to deuce el dusseldorf in germany. it believed it rapidly descended and crashed in france around this area right here. for a closer look where that plane went down in that region here, you're looking at a map of the region in the french alps this is a mountainous area near where the plane went by and nearby region around this same area barcelonette was the site of a crash that killed 49 people. this region here is not immune to airline disaster. now take a look at this. this is a flight aware 3-d
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animation of the flight path. the radar suggests that the 24-year-old aircraft was cruising at 38,000 feet at this level when it began descending very rapidly into this area where it's known to crash. we should note weather isn't believed to be a contributing factor. weather conditions locally were very good when that plane went down. so this is the information that we do know on this breaking story. of course, all of this is coming in as we're finding out more and reports that the black box has been located. but the crash today was the first large passenger jet crash on french soil since the year 2000. >> thanks so much. francis rivera. joining me now is retired airline captain tom bund. thanks for being with us the a-320 is the workhorse, one takes off around the world around two seconds.
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so this is a widely used and very reliable aircraft. >> it's a great plane. it has one of the best safety records of any airplane ever built. it's a great machine. >> and how do you explain the fact that there was no automated distress signal, they were flying at 38,000 feet as francis francisryiry ver va was just showing us and descended over the course of nine or ten minutes in an orderly progression. >> that descent rate is really very ordinary. it's about the same rate that would happen on a normal flight. that's what is -- makes it appear it's not an explosive decompression or any other kind of pressurization problem. you see when pilots have a pressurization problem they immediately put on oxygen masks, this is something they practice every time they fly. that should not be a problem. then they extend the speed brakes and bring the throttles back and descend rapidly.
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this is on in cases of depressurization so they can descend to a low altitude in four minutes. this was not that kind of descent. they didn't use the speed brakes, going down at the normal rate. now, in the alps when you do make a -- a descent because of pressurization problems you always turn away from the alps. they didn't turn away. this does not look to me like anything but a hijacking. that's my guess. it may turn out to be totally wrong. i can't see any other explanation zpl they have not ruled anything like that out. there were areas where you can turn away from the alps towards the coastal areas of france and gain a lot more maneuverability. it seems as though why would they go down to the level of crashing into the mountain that way. there was no evidence so far of an explosion. >> no the plane if it had exploded it would not have
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descended in a stable normal descent rate in a constant direction. you see, the descent actually began right over the coast of france the mediterranean and coast of france and descended about eight minutes into the alps. so the pilot certainly being european pilots knew the alps were there. there's -- i can't come up with any other explanation of why they didn't turn away from the alps other than they weren't allowed to do so. you can see a plane with ab orderly descent was controllable. >> tom when you look -- when we get the information, one black box has reportedly at least recording to figeroa has been recovered. what would that tell us? unless they have the voice recorder you wouldn't know what was happening in the cockpit. >> that's right the voice recorder is going to be key because there's already enough
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information about the zee descent that makes it look normal. the voice recorder will be very interesting here. >> coming up one of hollywood's biggest stars, a very personal journey, the measures angelina jolie is taking to prevent cancer. a world renowned cancer doctor will join me next. but when i started having back pain my sister had to come help. i don't like asking for help. i took tylenol but i had to take six pills to get through the day. so my daughter brought over some aleve. it's just two pills, all day! and now, i'm back! aleve. two pills. all day strong, all day long. and for a good night's rest, try aleve pm for a better am. just stay calm and move as quietly as possible. no sudden movements. google search: bodega beach house.
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her preventative move to have her ovaries removed after a recent blood test revealed possible early signs of ovarian cancer. joining me now is dr. larry norton an expert on breast cancer and a physician involved in my own care. thank you very much. i know you can't comment on jeel lee's case not involved in her treatment. >> yes. >> this is an important moment any time we read of a celebrity, so well known doing something that one might think is so drastic. how common is it that someone who tested positively for the breast cancer gene, so-called breast cancer gene would take the step to remove oefvies and further surgery? >> it's our recommendation if you know you're carrying one of the genes ss associated with ovarian cancer and breast cancer, consider prophylactic
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surgery early. after women finish childbearing portion of their life they should consider removal ast ovaries and fallopian tube. if you do 100 of these preventative surgeries in three out of 100, we find little ovarian cancers not in any way expected prior to the surgery. >> to explain further, that's because ovarian cancer is a sly lent killer. it grows, you can't detect it easily without biopsies you wouldn't have any symptoms until it might be too late. >> that's absolutely totally true. and indeed in terms of breast some people are opting for careful screening with mris or mammograms frequently and physical examinations and the best way to prevent breast cancer in this situation is to have the prophylactic surgery. with the oefvy there's no good
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screening test. they are do all sorts of things to image the oefvaries and blood tests are not good at picking it up. the best way is to remoef ovaries and fallopian tubes. >> i want to quote another part of what she wrote. i went to see the surgeon who treated my mother and she teared up when she saw me. you look just like her. i broke down but we smiled and agreed we were there to deal with any problem, let's get on with it. she's now being very matter of fact about this. just as a physician, how severe is the impact of having this kind of surgery before menopause so early in her life only 39 years old. >> first of all we have to congratulate her for coming forward, public awareness is very important and coming together with her personal story with her position is very touching. and i just want to join the world and congratulate her for bringing this to our awareness.
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indeed she will go through menopause when you remove ovaries, they can be managed and indeed all of the usual things that we think of associated with menopause can be managed with safe medications, indeed in most situations. so it's not the worst thing in the world to do this and certainly even if it were something that could affect the quality of a person's life is a whole lot better than having ovarian cancer. >> the genetic testing, how widespread is is this now? there's an expense involved of course because it's discretionary, who should get tested genetically to see if they have a predisposition. >> the question who should get tested is currently in flux. for the most part the recommendations have been people with strong family histories should get tested to see if they are carrying these predisposing genes. but we're learning in some populations, women without a family history can carry the genes and not be aware of them
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so there's a lot of discussion now about what is the best approach an indeed we'll have a meeting in a few weeks in israel to talk about women of jewish descent and whether she should be tested if he have a family history or not. this topic has been brought forward in our field recently and we're discussing it. it is in the state of flux. the good news is that having the test and finding out you are at high risk there are interventions that can make a really big difference and can be translated to survival you'll live longer if you remove the o ovaries, the good news there's things we can do to prevent cancer here and that is the important part of this take home message. >> dr. larry norton i appreciate you coming in. an important message. >> thank you very much for having me. >> and coming up, an update on crash of the germanwings plane
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updating our breaking news, the crash of the german wings plane in the french alps family have started to arrive in barcelona where the flight took off and in dusseldorf. rescue teams are making their way to the crash site. the associated press is reporting one of the black boxes has been found, citing the french interior ministry as the source. nbc news is working to independently confirm that with the french. this image was taken by the fire department that reads, briefing the firefighters before they depart to reinforce the rescue mission for the a 320 crash. this crash is going to be the source of intensive study because of the orderly descent but the descent directly into the french alps. no evidence it exploded in air.
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apparently the debris spread on impact as it went directly into that mountain terrain. it took off from barcelona in apparently clear weather. so a lot more to be learned. that does it for this edition of quts an dree"andrea mitchell reports"." follow the show online on facebook and twitter. thomas roberts joins us with what's coming up next. >> thanks so much. we have fresh details up next. we'll pick up with the breaking news andrea was talking about. the coverage of the germanwings passenger jet. on deck we have tom costello covering details and lester holt coming in and ann curlry is in paris and francis rivera will be here as well. we have it all covered for you as developments continue to be fluid and white house statement is now out. it's all coming up next on msnbc live with thomas roberts. i really admire my mother. despite what people said she bought me a sewing machine and she let me play with dolls and that was something that was kind of growing up culturally, it was quite unacceptable
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we continue to follow that breaking news of a passenger jet crashing in the french alps. >> a passenger plane crashed 148 people on board. >> this plane appears to have suffered something cataclysmic or cat strosk in mid flight. >> it doesn't seem any survivors are expected. >> at this point here is what we know. the french interior minister says one of the plane's black boxes has been found. nbc news has not independently confirmed this. however, search and rescue teams are starting to arrive near the crash site and according to the french foreign minister when one rescue helicopter arrived they found no survives, all 150 on board, are now feared dead. the jet was headed from barcelona to deuceusseldorf, it crashed 430 miles south-southeast of paris. officials say the jet reached the regular elevation of 38,000
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feet at 10:34 a.m. then held it at one minute before starting its descent. the ceo of germanwings says the plane went into an an eight minute descent before it crashed. we have team coverage this hour. nbc news's tom costello is in washington and ann curry is in paris and francis rivera is covering the history of the aircraft. about an hour ago we had the u.s. state department releasing a statement in direct reference to the crash saying in part we are reviewing whether any u.s. citizens were aboard the flight. we want to bring in tom costello tracking the latest developments. tom, we don't seem to have any information that would say an american was on board. it seems as if we have all of the information of passengers already. >> thus far it appears this plane was carrying people of spanish nationality and german and turkish nationality and including as you mentioned a large number of

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